Another one where I should have trusted KEXP a little bit more, lots of love especially from John “In the Morning” Richards, but then again, that’s just often part of the journey. One of those bands that you hear, don’t pause enough on, move along, come back to and the switch goes off. I often find that particular path relinquishes bands/albums that I really fall for with a solidarity that will keep me listening for the long haul.
photo by Tonje Tilesen
I know the band’s coming off a recent SXSW endeavor with lots of great reviews following. Was this the bands first SXSW trek? What was the experience like for y’all?
We actually had our first meeting with SXSW last year. A strange experience the first year. Total mayhem and chaos, but this year it was much better. We planned the whole trip better and got more rest and enjoyed it a lot more. It’s an amazing place to be for a band, even though it’s pretty crazy. Unpacking your gear in some ally, bringing it up on stage 15 minutes prior to show, play for 30 minutes, and then get everything off stage and pack it all up in the streets. Amazing!
I’m in love with your integration of steel drums, tell me more about how that came to be and they dynamic it brings to the overall sound?
Ingrid bought the steel drum at Iceland Airwaves in 2012 in Reykjavik. The steel drum has got a lot of sound and touches frequencies where other instruments don’t, but it can also take up a lot from. But Ingrid has managed to incorporate the instrument into the songs and the band in a beautiful way.
How would you compare and contrast playing here in the States with Europe, and your home country of Norway?
Well first off the US audience is much more direct. If they like it, they’ll immediately come up to you and tell you. Also, compared to Norway, the audience here is bit more eager to check out new music. And also they buy a lot of music here, which is great.
What’s the strangest thing that’s happened to the band on tour?
Strangest thing. Well there isn’t that many strange things happening. But we’ve actually had a couple of followers who came to our shows in Austin, then in Houston and again in Dallas. That’s pretty strange for us, but in a good way.
What feelings are brewing reflecting upon the completion of the band’s debut album Silent Treatment while anticipating its early April release?
We’re really excited and can’t wait for the album to be out over here. The album has received some pretty good reviews in Norway, and people here seems to like the way we play, so hopefully people will enjoy the album as well!
The War On Drugs preceding album Slave Ambient was an extremely rich piece of work that left a strong imprint on me. It’s one of those albums that I find myself going back to often. With that said, the bar for the forthcoming album Lost In The Dream was extremely high. And the verdict…not disappointed to the least! I’d like to call the first single “Red Eyes” a standout, but its hard to amongst all the other greatly crafted songs on the record. Sorry Reagan, I don’t see this war ending anytime soon.
I love getting the chance to highlight great local Seattle music that’s brewing, and the new EP Fairweather Friends from The Horde and the Harem is just around the corner (4.12.14). Really dig this track that they shared with me, and I hope you all enjoy it too, look to find them playing a Seattle Living Room Show in May.
I have to say I think the band’s name is one of the greatest band names ever, what’s the story behind it’s birth?
We wanted the name to match the random/music with no borders vibe. It was a way to free us up to do anything we wanted.
Have you guys had any interaction with NASCAR Jr. or Sr.? what do they think of the band?
Dale Jr. gave us his blessing. He’s a fan.
Your music radiates a lot of positive energy and has a great catchiness while being distinctly unique, how would you guys describe your sound?
We do try to make pop music, but it is impossible for us to make lyrics and sounds that don’t have multiple layers. It’s sort of HIP HOP FOLK or just simply POP.
I know you guys infuse a lot of interesting sounds, what are some of the most unique objects/setups behind theses sounds that have been incorporated into your recordings and/or shows?
We use an OP-1 from teenage engineering that is responsible for a lot of the nuggets on the record. Josh is really the king of noise. He can build a sound from anything and make it beautiful.
What’s the oddest thing that’s happened to the band on tour? extra credit for any stories involving Seattle…
We recorded the “We Almost Lost Detroit” record store day EP in the parking lot of the Mariners baseball Stadium. We had to high pass everything to get the low hum of our generator out of the mix.
Cool calm one for a laid back Sunday. A pleasant tune, simple as that.
The keys to this song allow you to ponder the idea that your entering into some hip hop purity, maybe a little Common. Not quite, but close, some pulls on the violin, and you’re into the beautiful melodic trance of this song. I’ve heard bits and pieces from these guys before, but this track has me revisiting Bombay Bicycle Club with a bit closer ear.